Travlang Travel Guide

Travlang's Guide to International Travel

Can’t Afford Scuba? The Pros and Cons of Taking a Personal Travel Loan to Go Scuba Diving

 

Money’s in short supply for many Americans.

Indeed, household debt’s at an all-time high. Last year, US consumer debt reached and exceeded a mind-blowing $13 trillion.

Financial times are tough. People around the country are finding it hard to cover even basic expenses. The idea of affording ‘luxuries’, like vacations and fun activities, can seem laughable!

Scuba diving arguably fits that description. As incredible as it is, the costs involved can be a stumbling block for aspiring divers.

Thankfully, there are ways that anyone can assemble the money required to do it. A personal travel loan is one such example.

However, there are numerous advantages and disadvantages to these loans to consider first.

Trying to decide if this is the best way for you to afford scuba lessons? Read on to learn the pros and cons involved.

Advantages of Personal Travel Loans

Let’s start with the good stuff. The following reasons explain why travel loans can be the perfect way to afford to scuba dive.

1. You Get to Scuba Dive!

First thing’s first:

That personal travel loan means you get to fulfill your dream of scuba diving. You may have wanted to do it for years, but never had the financial means. Finally, the time has come to tick it off your bucket list.

That fact highlights a significant benefit of any personal loan. They provide you with the resources to make memories. Life is about more than money!

The true value of the holiday it pays for can far exceed its financial worth. Going on vacation can reduce stress levels, offer a change of scenery, and live on in memory for years to come.

2. It’s Quick and Easy

There’s always something to be said for saving.

But, let’s face it, sometimes we want instant gratification.

Travel loans enable you to avoid the time and effort involved with saving up for a holiday. Instead, the money can be available to you in moments.

That’s of immense benefit if you need a holiday in a hurry.

You might wonder if your credit score would get in the way. The simple answer is that it might! Nonetheless, certain providers can offer bad credit personal loans too. Those scuba dives don’t have to be off-limits!

3. Lower Interest Rates

Time to turn to practice personal loan incentives.

Firstly, many of them offer lower interest rates than alternative forms of debt. Credit cards are a prime example. Anyone in credit card debt knows how debilitating the enormous interest payments can be.

In contrast, personal loans come at a reduced cost. Lower interest means a cheaper loan. Of course, your bank balance won’t thank you for it. But, compared to credit cards, it’ll be far better off.

4. Fixed Term Setup

Here’s another bonus of personal travel loans over credit cards:

The debt is usually fixed term in nature.

That means you know upfront exactly how long you’ll be paying it off. There’s a reassuring light at the end of the tunnel; a level of predictability that helps you plan your finances elsewhere.

By comparison, credit card debt repayments can go on indefinitely! Minimum payments, compounding interest and missed repayments create a snowball effect. Paying down credit cards can feel never-ending.

Disadvantages of Personal Travel Loans

Alas, it isn’t all good news. You should always keep the potential cons in mind too. Here’s why travel loans are always worth thinking hard about.

1. It’s More Debt

There’s no escaping it:

Personal loans mean increasing your burden of debt.

That’s bad news if you’re already in financial dire straits. As we saw in the intro, debt is a ginormous struggle for millions of households in the US. Taking out another loan can feel like adding fuel to the fire.

In an ideal world, you’d find the money for scuba diving elsewhere. From saving up, cutting back, taking on a second job, selling your things, and (ironically) paying off your debts!

2. Short Term Gain, Long Term Pain

The ‘best’ debt is always taken on to buy appreciating assets.

In essence, always try and take out loans to pay for things that get more valuable in time (real-estate is a prime example of this). This approach makes debt worthwhile; the financial risk amounts to leverage.

In other words, you borrow money in order to make more of it in the future.

Vacations are the total opposite. It’s a one-off expense that offers nothing tangible in return. The benefits are purely emotional and spiritual, as opposed to financial.

It may seem totally worth it, and who are we to say it isn’t?!

Nonetheless, there’s no escaping the fact you’ll be paying for that one-time, zero-return purchase for years to come. It begs the question: are those scuba lessons really worth it?

3. It Can Get Expensive

Finally, it’s worth remembering that you don’t just pay the loan amount back.

Obviously, it’s loan amount plus interest. Unfortunately for you, that loan can get expensive.

Imagine a hypothetical situation where you borrow $2,500 for your vacation and scuba lessons. Assuming 10% interest and a 5 year fixed term contract, you’ll repay $53 per month and a total of just under $3,200.

That’s approximately $700 more than you borrowed! The more you borrow, the higher the true cost of the loan.

Time to Decide on That Travel Loan

There you have it: the pros and cons of getting a personal travel loan for scuba diving.

Peoples’ finances are, to put it mildly, a little stretched in the US right now.

We’re living through challenging economic times. Americans are struggling under heavy burdens of debt and inadequate monthly income. Living paycheque to paycheque, doing anything other than getting by can feel off-limits.

Vacations and scuba diving can seem to hold a permanent place in dream-land. But, as we’ve seen, they don’t have to.

Personal loans, despite their potential downsides, can provide a solution to the problem. By providing quick access to the necessary cash, you can be diving in no time.

Like this article? Looking for diving inspiration to get through the financial challenges? Check out the ‘Travel and Trips’ section on the blog now.

The Absolute Best Lakes in the US That You Need to Go Boating On

 

Did you know that in 2016, there were 11,861,811 boats registered in the United States?

If you’re among these boat owners or even just a fan of water recreation, you may have found yourself Googling phrases such as “boating lakes near me” or “nice lakes near me.”

Sound familiar? 

If so, stop Googling and start reading. From massive desert waterways to hidden mountain gems, we’ve got a breakdown of the best lakes in the US.

Here’s the full scoop on where to boat and why. (Just be prepared to add some new destinations to your bucket list.)

1. Lake Tahoe

This impossibly clear, high-elevation lake sits at the juncture of California and Nevada. Surrounded by the towering, verdant slopes of the Sierra Nevadas, you’ll fall in love with this gorgeous alpine waterbody.

For conservation purposes, make sure you double-check with boating regulations for Lake Tahoe. Because of the threat of invasive species, you’ll need to have your watercraft inspected before hitting the waves.

There are six inspection sites available where you can get a Watercraft Inspection Sticker:

  1. Incline Village
  2. Homewood
  3. Spooner Summit
  4. Northstar at Tahoe
  5. Alpine Meadows
  6. Myers, California

Once you’ve got your sticker, get ready for a picturesque boat ride around one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.

2. Lake Martin

Lake Martin is located in Alabama, and it does a great job of representing the state’s motto “Alabama the Beautiful.” The lake boasts an impressive 750 miles of stunning shoreline.

Like Lake Tahoe, you’ll need to read up on local regulations. These include a prohibition on three specific boat types:

  1. Any houseboat
  2. Any vessel longer than 30’6″
  3. Any watercraft longer than 26’11” that can go more than 60 miles per hour

It also includes plenty of fascinating sites along the way. These landmarks include Chimney Rock and Acapulco Rock. Each of these rugged cliffs provides the perfect temptation for swimmers who wish to take a summer plunge.

3. Lake Powell

Lake Powell remains Arizona’s most iconic waterway and with good reason. It holds a mind-boggling 24,322,069 acre-feet of water and measures an incredible 558-feet at its deepest point.

Surrounded by expansive periwinkle skies and otherworldly pastel-colored desert landscapes, Lake Powell is like boating the Grand Canyon. Only filled with crystal-clear blue water.

A prime spot for water fun, the lake has also earned a reputation for parties. If a lake party sounds like your kind of weekend, here’s a word of caution.

Alcohol consumption while driving a boat remains the number one contributor to recreational boat injuries in the US.

In 2018 alone, 100 people died as a result of mixing alcohol and boating. That accounts for 19 percent of all water-related fatalities.

Fortunately, houseboating is fully endorsed on Powell. In fact, it’s the safest way to enjoy the lake with friends, especially if you’re going to drink.

4. Lake Michigan

Despite its name, much of Lake Michigan’s shoreline sits in the state of Illinois. It also borders Indiana and Michigan. The second-largest of the five Great Lakes by volume, it’s the third-largest by surface area.

Of course, boating such a massive body of water comes with extra precautions. Most accidents happen because of carelessness in the water.

What’s the best way to avoid injury? By staying on your boat and resisting the temptation to jump in. Most people underestimate how difficult it is to get back on a boat or to catch up with one that’s left you behind.

Also, pack the right equipment. This should include everything from life jackets to wetsuits and night illumination.

That said, when you plan sufficiently, boating Lake Michigan can be one of the most wonderful experiences of your life. You’ll be awestruck by its size. What’s more, it boasts a rich history reaching back to the Ojibwe tribe who named this water body.

5. Lake Okeechobee

Near the tip of Florida sits its largest freshwater body of water, Lake Okeechobee. Covering an astounding 750 square-miles, it proves a popular destination for fishermen.

On the lake’s southern shoreline, Clewiston provides plenty of allure to anglers. Its life-giving verdant waters hide speckled perch and legendary largemouth bass.

But you’ll also find black crappies, Okeechobee catfish, and more. Local guides and resorts can point your boat in the right direction and guarantee you get the catch you’re after while visiting the area.

6. Redfish Lake

If you’re after boating, fishing, and hiking in one of the most pristine areas in the Western United States, then look no further than Idaho’s Redfish Lake.

Originally named for its abundance of sockeye salmon during spawning season, it remains an outdoorsman’s paradise.

From Cutthroat trout and Brookies to Kokanee salmon, Dolley Varden trout, and rainbow trout, get ready for some serious angling.

Besides fishing, boating the lake lets you see take in the panoramic beauty of the surrounding Sawtooth National Forest. And when you’re ready to head ashore? The lake’s plentiful beaches prove great spots for wading, swimming, and sunbathing.

7. Lake Mead

When it comes to all-around recreation, it’s hard to beat Lake Mead located in Southern Nevada. This hotspot for boating, swimming, and fishing boasts 290 days of sunshine.

Because of the endless fair weather, you’ll love cycling and hiking local trails. Camping also proves a popular activity. In fact, the wilderness surrounding Lake Mead covers 1.5 million acres of idyllic canyons, mountains, and valleys.

What’s more, you’re an easy travel distance from the surreal landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park and the endless nightlife of Las Vegas. So, get ready for the ultimate outdooring adventure in this picturesque desert region.

The Seven Best Lakes in the US

From the mountain shores of Lake Tahoe to the massive surface area of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee, you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to boating the best lakes in the US.

There are also hidden gems such as Redfish Lake in Idaho and Lake Martin in Alabama that make for unforgettable vacations on the water.

Still not sure where your next trip should lead you? Browse our blog now for more great travel inspiration.

How to Camp: 5 Essential Tips for Your First Foray Into the Great Outdoors

 

Did you know the first s’mores recipe appeared in a 1927 Girl Scouts manual?

S’mores have become a well-known treat for campers everywhere! If you’re an outdoors lover, chances are you’ve probably dreamed of making s’mores around a campfire.

Camping gives people a wonderful opportunity to become one with nature and enjoy all the beauty our world has to offer (along with eating some s’mores, of course).

If you’ve never set up base in the wilderness and want to learn how to camp, check out our 5 simple tips below to get you started on your first expedition!

1. Packing Up: Camping Essentials

When you’re making the trek into the great unknown, you want to prepare for any situation that arises.

It’s good to make sure you have the absolute necessities first, and Mark Wilcox at Camping Forge outlines the basic camping gear every camper should bring along. Obviously a tent is a necessity, and it makes it onto his list of must-have camping supplies!

You will also want to bring things like toilet paper and paper towels, especially if you’re camping in an area where bathrooms won’t be available. Bring some trash bags too! There’s nothing more frustrating than campers who leave their trash at a campsite—have some respect for Mother Earth!

2. Dressing Appropriately

When choosing your camping wardrobe, ditch your Sunday best.

Camping can get a little dirty, so clothes that can take a bit of a beating are better. You’ll also want to pack things that can keep you warm. Even during the warmer seasons, nighttime can get pretty chilly!

Boots or sneakers are a good footwear choice, especially if you’re planning on doing some hiking. If you are going to take a dip in a lake or pond, bring some sandals along too!

3. How to Camp: Choosing the Perfect Location

You will have a much better time camping for the first time if you feel comfortable and safe at your camping location. Choose a camping location that best suits your activity preferences, be that swimming, hiking, or simply lounging around in the great outdoors!

When choosing a camping location, decide whether you’d rather stay in a designated campsite or stray off a bit farther into the wilderness. Be mindful that designated campsites usually draw more bears and critter than other locations because they know there will be food there!

4. Expect the Unexpected

If you’re still learning how to camp, know that it’s a good idea to prepare for unexpected situations. This means you’ll want to have some first aid supplies handy, in case anyone takes a fall or comes down with a fever.

It’s also wise to know how to start a fire. If you get lost on a hike on a chilly night without any matches, you’ll want to keep warm somehow.

5. Keep Your Belly Happy: What Food to Bring

Meal-prepping before your camping trip is always a wise idea, but you can also just plan on packing some substantial grab-and-go items (think protein bars) and shelf stable goods, such as canned soup.

Meals that can be made in a single pot are ideal because they require less clean up. Pack a little extra of the basics, but don’t waste space on luxuries and unnecessary snacks.

Bring distilled water with you, or a water filter that you can run boiled water through.

Enjoy Your Trip

Camping is a unique experience that you will fall in love with! There’s a reason families and friends spend weekend after weekend in RV’s and pitched tents every spring.

Hopefully, these tips have given you a bit more insight on how to camp, and you can get started on your own camping journey!

For more tips and info on all things travel and language, keep browsing the rest of our blog!

Top 3 Spiritual and Soul Searching Retreats That Will Change Your Life

 

 

Do you feel that you are caught up in the every day, with little time to look inward? When was the last time you were able to truly disconnect from all the outside distractions, and re-connect with yourself?

Whether you are trying to get a steadier grasp on yourself, your relationships, or your spirituality, a retreat may be the best idea for you!

Soul searching retreats could transform your life. Your inner clarity and health are most important for the way you feel internally and the ways in which you interact with the world around you.

So instead of that family vacation to Disney, consider scheduling a retreat instead!

Keep reading for the top spiritual & soul searching retreats that could change your life for the better!

Yoga Retreats
Whether you are new at yoga or have been practicing for a long time, yoga retreats can be incredibly therapeutic.

Yoga is moving meditation, so while it is a physical activity, it can be an incredibly introspective practice.

One of our favorites is the Restorative Yoga Retreat in Rhinebeck, in New York. This retreat offers all-level classes based on your own preference.

Location can be everything during retreats, and this location will not disappoint. The retreat is located on a large, open property, with a lake perfect for taking a paddle in between classes.

There is no better way to find zen than on a yoga retreat.

Marriage Retreats
Marriage can be hard, and it is especially difficult in a busy day-to-day life. Whether you feel like your marriage is in need of serious repair, or just want to spend some time reconnecting with your spouse, a marriage retreat may be best for your relationship.

Spiritually connecting with your partner is a great way to strengthen your marriage. One of our favorite Christian marriage retreats is through Living Waters. They provide both a foundational retreat as well as a more advanced Unity retreat. These retreats work to unite couples both in their relationships with one another and also with God.

Meditation & Mindfulness Retreats
Being mindful is a key method in living a happy and satisfied life. Learning the tools in order to achieve this mindfulness in our day to day lives is best achieved when attending retreats.

One of our favorite meditation and mindfulness retreats is at the Esalen Institute, in Big Sur, California. We love this retreat because of it’s gorgeous location as well as its inclusion of beginners.

Learning how to use meditation in your daily life, as well as allowing yourself time to unplug can be significant in living a mentally healthy lifestyle. Head to this blog to learn more about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness.

Soul Searching Retreats: Do Yourself a Favor
If you are thinking about your next vacation, consider a retreat, as it can be the most rewarding way you spend both your vacation time and money. As we have illustrated here, there are so many different types of retreats based on your needs and priorities.

Soul searching retreats can change the rest of your life, and you will be sure to thank yourself for making YOU a priority.

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Traveling to America: The Low Down on How to Legally Enter the States

 

As you might expect, legally getting into the United States can be a strenuous process. After all, America doesn’t let just anyone enter its geographical confines. You have to have the right credentials.

Are you traveling to America soon? Wondering what kinds of credentials are needed in order to enter the country? Here are some options available to you.

Apply for a Work Visa

If you’re coming to the United States to work, you need to apply for a work visa. This will enable you to work for an American employer, and — if you have the resources necessary — will even allow you to start your own business in the United States.

There are no shortage of work visas available for foreigners to pursue, each of which carries a different distinction. The most successfully obtained work visa is the h1b, a visa which requires an American employer to sponsor a foreign employee.

If you have a sponsor, you can begin applying for this visa at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website. If obtained, it will grant you temporary access to the United States.

Apply for a Student Visa

Hoping to attend school in the United States? If so, you will need a student visa. A student visa will allow you to stay in the United States for the duration of your schooling, and will also allow you to stay for 2 months after your schooling has ended.

During the time after your schooling has ended, you will be allowed to sign up for an h1b visa, effectively extending your stay. This will enable you to work in the country. If you wish, you could also use this time to try to pursue American citizenship.

If you’re looking to obtain a student visa, you should know that there is quite a bit involved in the process. For instance, those between the ages of 14 and 79 will need to be interviewed about their educational careers. You’ll also be required to present school transcripts, diplomas, and other such documents.

Note, you can’t attend school in the US without a student visa. It is a requirement for all foreign students.

Apply for a Family-Based Immigration Visa

If you have relatives who are American citizens, you might consider pursuing a family-based immigration visa. There are a number of different family-based immigration visas that you can pursue, each of which accommodates a different type of relationship.

The easiest way to gain familial access to the US is to marry an American citizen. Doing so will grant you immediate access.

However, there are other options available. For instance, Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas allow American citizens to bring their offspring and parents into the country. This accounts for immediate offspring under the 21, adopted children, and parents over the age of 21.

Another option is the Family Preference Immigrant Visa, a visa which allows families to bring distant relatives into the United States. Make note, however, that the US government issues a limited amount of these on a yearly basis.

Apply for an Investor’s Visa

Do you have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of business capital on your side? If so, you can apply for an investor’s visa. An investor’s visa grants access to those who help the US economy to thrive.

Qualifications for this visa are very straightforward. First, you must invest at least $500,000 in an American company, whether it be another person’s company or your own. Second, your contribution must create at least 5 American jobs.

If you can show that you’ve done this, you will be granted almost immediate access. As they say: money talks.

Enter the Visa Lottery

The United States makes efforts to create as diverse a country as possible. One of these efforts is the Visa Lottery, a lottery which randomly awards visas to residents of countries which don’t often immigrate to the US. If you live in one of these countries, you can sign up.

There are quite a few countries which are eligible for this lottery, including but not limited to Albania, Israel, the Bahamas, and Argentina. See a full list of eligible countries here.

Take Advantage of the Visa Waiver Program

Not every foreign citizen requires a visa in order to enter the United States. Citizens in some countries are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. This program allows such citizens to enter the country with a passport alone after having obtained a travel authorization from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA.

There are almost 40 countries eligible for this program, including Great Britain, Australia, Japan, France, Greece, and Germany, to name just a few. Here’s a full list for you to peruse. If your country is on the list, you’re eligible for the program.

The Waiver Program allows you to stay in the country for 90 days or less, whether it be for tourism or business. If you’re a resident of an eligible country, it should be your first course of action for gaining credentials into the United States.

Seek Asylum

Your last option is to seek asylum. Asylum is granted to those who are being persecuted in their home countries for reasons of race, sexuality, religion, political opinion, or nationality. In essence, it’s granted to remove human beings from bad or dangerous situations.

To obtain asylum, you must first be physically present in the United States. It doesn’t matter how you get there. Both legally present and illegally present immigrants are eligible for asylum, though not all are granted it.

If your situation is a truly dire one, you will likely be allowed to stay in the United States. However, this isn’t always the case.

Traveling to America Soon?

Are you planning on traveling to America soon? If so, you should first see if you’re eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. If you’re not, a work visa is likely your best bet.

Looking to learn more about international travel? TravLang has all the information you need.

Browse our other articles now!

A List of the Best Boating Lakes and Destinations to Visit

 

There are 568 lakes in Missouri. If you are planning to visit the state, or just to want to find a new lake for your boating adventure, there are more than a few to choose from.

If you are looking for the best boating lakes in Missouri, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find out what the best of the best are here.

Table Rock Lake

This is a beautiful lake that’s located in the southwestern portion of Missouri near the Arkansas border. On the eastern shore, you’ll find Table Rock State Park, which serves as a gateway to the lake.

During your visit, you can enjoy stand up paddle boats, rent boats or canoes, and even kayaks to explore the shores. You can even take scuba lessons and rent the gear needed to explore the depths of the lake.

The Lake of the Ozarks

Found in the southwest portion of Jefferson City, you can find Lake of the Ozarks, which has been given the nickname Magic Dragon. This was given because of the convoluted, narrow shape.

The park also hosts the Ozark Caverns, where you can explore the underground wonders. If you want to explore the beautiful lake, stop by Boat Planet to find everything you need for the experience.

Lake Jacomo

This lake is in the southeast portion of Kansas City, close to Blue Springs, Missouri. Here, you will find the biggest park in Jackson County, which is Fleming Park. If you want to explore the lake, you can visit Lake Jacomo Marina where you will find boat launching sites and can rent canoes, pedal boats, fishing boats, powerboats, and other watercraft.

Some of the fish you can catch in the lake include carp, bluegill, walleye, catfish, and largemouth bass. If you visit the eastern lakeshore, you’ll find Missouri Town 1855, which is a living history museum made up of 25 original buildings, including livestock, equipment, furniture and interpreters in period costumes.

Stockton Lake

This lake is northwest to the vacation rentals in Springfield, and it offers over 300 miles of shoreline providing you with unlimited water-related activities. The park is found on a peninsula in the center of Stockton Lake, and here you can also find boat rentals, sailing lessons, and more.

You can find guides at the Stockton State Park Marina where you can learn about the best spots to fish for trophy-sized walleye. If you want to get off the boat for a while, you’ll find more than 40 miles of trails over the forested hills that are perfect for horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking.

The Best Boating Lakes in Missouri

Now that you know where to find the best boating lakes in Missouri, it’s time to begin exploring. Take some time to visit them all throughout the years and see what this amazing state has to offer.

If you are searching for other travel destination around the world, be sure to check out some of our other blogs posts.

Day in the Sun: 8 of the Best Beaches in the US

 

It’s no surprise that beach vacations are the most popular type of holiday for Americans. 52 percent would rather lounge on the beach than travel to an all-inclusive resort, go on a cruise, or visit a new city.

When you see the beaches on the Eastern and Western coasts of America, you’ll know why.

Why fly to another country when you can have world-class beaches in your own backyard? Do you want adventurous beaches for hiking? White-sand beaches you melt into with your sunscreen?

American has them both. For your next getaway, plan an epic beachside vacation. Here are eight of the best beaches in the US to choose from.

1. Wailea Beach, Maui, Hawaii

You can’t go wrong when looking for perfect beaches in Maui. The Wailea resort development sits among five gorgeous beaches, one of which is Wailea Beach.

Between two rocky bookends is the main swimming area which boasts gentle water and soft sand. It’s part of 1500 acres of beaches that make up this part of the coast.

This public beach has parking nearby as well as many attractions. You’ll find world-class golf courses, restaurants, and tons of shops. For a luxury resort experience in Maui, Wailea Beach is the place to go.

2. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California

You would expect nothing less than stunning beaches on the coast of California. Coronado Beach exceeds all expectations.

There are so many fun things to do here. Since the beach is flat, it’s prime for swimming, sunbathing, and even skin boarding. Head over to the tide pools and try your hand at fishing.

What makes this beach extra special is its historic significance. Prominently sitting behind the beach is the Hotel del Coronado. When it opened in 1888, it was the first hotel in America to be lit with electricity.

Look one way and you see the Victorian architecture of the hotel. Look the other and you see endless white sands and aqua waters.

3. St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, Florida

20 miles from Clearwater Beach sits an equally gorgeous one, St. Pete Beach. Here you’ll find year-round sunshine, minimal crowds, and tons of recreational beach activities.

The town of St Pete Beach only has 10,000 residents; 28 percent of homes are owned by out-of-towners. There are tons of families, retirees, and visitors looking for a safe and fun getaway.

The sand is white and warm; the water is gentle with small, rolling waves. You can take windsurfing lessons, snorkel with dolphins, and kayak the length of the beach.

When you get hungry, head to The Pier. This five-story shopping complex has mouth-watering restaurants overlooking the water. Check it out during sunset for spectacular views.

4. Coligny Beach, Hilton Head, South Carolina

There are many beautiful beaches in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The one that tourists and locals alike rave about is Coligny Beach.

Since this is a popular beach in Hilton Head, there’s always a lifeguard on duty and plenty of amenities. Free parking, public bathrooms and change rooms, and next to no litter can be found here.

The water is gentle and the beach flat. You won’t find much surfing here, but the wide sandbars make it fun for swimming and wading.

5. Pensacola Beach, Santa Rosa Island, Florida

Another Florida beach makes the list, and no one is shocked. Pensacola Beach sits on the Western tip of Florida on Santa Rose Island.

In one area of the beach, you’ll find tourists and tiki bars. In another, you can go fishing, snorkeling, and diving. It’s a beach that attracts both environmentalists and beach-bums alike.

Activities here include biking the eco-trails, dolphin watching, and paddleboarding. It’s the perfect beach for anyone looking for water and land adventures.

With crystal waters and silky white sand, sunbathing is fun, too.

6. Race Point Beach, Provincetown, Massachusetts

The most Northern beach on this list sits in a vacation destination, Cape Cod. Specifically, Race Point Beach is in Provincetown.

What makes this beach extra unique are the sand dunes that back it. You’ll find plenty of bike trails, walking paths, and long stretches of water to wade through.

If you paddle out past the protected area you’ll find powerful currents and waves. The beach was named after the racing cross current that flows directly in front of it. The water can be chilly at certain times of the year, but it’s perfect for cooling off on hot summer days.

7. South Beach, Bald Head Island, North Carolina

This North Carolina beach is great for swimming and sunbathing, but the real treat is kayaking here. With dozens of creeks and rivers that draw from the beach, you have endless routes to explore.

You’ll see everything from towering maritime forests, wide-open water, and rough coastal terrain.

After cooling off in the water, head over to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk for some good eats and plenty of shopping. Wander through the nearby neighborhoods and you’ll find dreamy, coastal vibes. The people are friendly and the entertainment lively.

8. Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach, California

Sitting equally between San Diego and Los Angeles is a beach that seems to have everything. Laguna Beach has miles of isolated, white sand for relaxing. It also has endless coves, caves, and tide pools for adventurers.

The town of Laguna Beach has over 20,000 acres of protected land. You can swim and surf, and then explore inland.

Luckily, there is an excessive number of accommodation options right on the water to choose from. You could spend days wandering through this rich and vibrant landscape.

Of course, there’s also plenty of dining and shopping options. It’s like you’re in nature, but civilization isn’t too far away.

Ready to Explore the Best Beaches in the US?

Why fly overseas for vacation when there are hundreds of stunning beaches here in America? No matter what coast you visit, there’s a beach to check all your boxes.

When you’re ready to book your trip, make sure you refer to this list of the best beaches in the US. You won’t want to miss out on them. And, check out the rest of our blog for more travel inspiration and tips!

7 Key Reasons Why You Should Try Scuba Diving

 

Most of us travel because we want to have new experiences and make exciting memories.

That feeling of wonder that you can get when you’re in a new place is absolutely exhilarating. If you’ve traveled a lot before, you know what that feels like.

You may be going back to a place you’ve already been or traveling somewhere new, so what are some ways you can amplify your vacation?

One way is to try scuba diving! Check out how it can make your trips even better below.

7 Reasons You Have to Try Scuba Diving

You know what scuba diving is and have probably considered doing it at some point. Here are 7 reasons why you should stop considering it and actually do it!

1. Not as Hard as You Think

It makes sense that scuba diving seems like it would be really difficult. After all, you’re going far underwater with a bunch of gear and a small tank of oxygen.

It actually is not difficult to learn, however, when you have the right instructors and the right courses. You have to be taught how to do it properly because it is not something that is natural to us as humans, but it can be done!

Good instructors give you all of the information you need, help you understand the basics that are most crucial, and encourage you to be comfortable with the idea of being deep underwater.

You will learn all of the techniques, rules, and practices that will help keep you safe as well. You’ll even get to learn about some equipment you need, like the best scuba mask or air tank.

Your instructors will be your guides to help you overcome any anxiety you may have before you have your first dive.

2. Being Under the Sea

The ocean literally covers 71% of our planet. There are so many different fish, animals, corals, and plants that are down there for you to see.

When you learn to scuba dive, you will be able to see all of this up close and personal. Not a lot of people can have that experience without doing a dive, but it can be very exciting if you love nature.

One of the great things about scuba diving is that you can go as deep or shallow as you’d like and still get to see a lot of this great stuff.

You don’t have to go down 100 feet to see these habitats and that makes it even more accessible to a beginner.

3. Travel Adventures

After learning how to scuba dive, you can start to plan more vacations to places that you want to dive! It not only makes your vacations more exciting, but it gives you the opportunity to explore locations you may not have considered otherwise.

Some of the best places for people to practice their scuba diving skills and experience wildlife is off the beaten path in more remote locations or islands.

Remember that you can also scuba dive in lakes or cold water if you don’t happen to be near an ocean!

4. Become Part of the Community

Being able to scuba dive takes a certain amount of grit that not everyone has. As you can imagine, the people that are part of this lively community are very fun and adventurous.

These are the type of people that love to explore, have a good time, and experience new things. You can plan a trip with new friends that all love the activity and become better at it along the way.

Not only will you meet new people, but you’ll make new friends. You may get to meet people from all around the world that you wouldn’t have ever known otherwise.

5. New Experiences Are Good

Adding some adrenaline into a vacation is a good thing if you like an adventure. Humans can become bored very easily when they do the same kind of thing each day, but also when they travel.

Your vacations should be about getting out of your comfort zone and having experiences that you can’t have at home! This is part of what makes travel so much fun.

Scuba diving is about as new as you can get because it is unlike almost anything else. Once you learn how to do it, you don’t want to stop either!

The feeling you get when you scuba dive is much different than anything else you may have felt in your life. Experiencing this while on vacation will make your recollections of that vacation and what you did in the new place even more memorable.

6. Face Your Fears

Fear is something that every person on the planet has, no matter how tough you may think they are.

Our fears are important and they are part of why our species has been alive for so long. They keep us safe, but they can also hinder us in some areas of life.

You can’t develop a lot of helpful qualities, like bravery, wisdom, or resiliency, if you are constantly giving in to your fears.

Scuba diving may seem terrifying to some and as long as you have a healthy dose of courage when starting out, you will be able to do it. It may not be something you are perfect at right away, but just giving it a try is a good way to face your fear.

7. Extreme Peace

We live in a busy world. It’s full of noises, traffic, and people.

Scuba diving is one way that you can get away from it all and just relax. It is so quiet in the ocean that you can hardly hear anything but your own breath.

If you’re looking for something that will give you peace and quiet, scuba diving may be the answer you need.

Time to Dive Down Deep

If you think this sounds like something you want to do, you should try scuba diving on your upcoming vacation.

It’s worth the time to get to explore, meet new people, and give yourself great memories to take home.

Keep browsing our website to find more travel tips and start your next adventure soon!

How to Work and Travel in Australia After College

 

A 2016 poll reported that approximately 20% of baby boomers admitted their biggest regret in life was not traveling more when they were younger. Many of these people cited work commitments as their main reason for not traveling during their younger years.

Are you scared of having this same regret when you’re old and gray? Then why not figure out a way to work and travel in Australia following your final year of college?

The good news is there are several ways to make this dream a reality. Check out some of your best options below.

Find a Job in Your Field in Australia

Did you go to school to be a:

  • Data analyst?
  • Cybersecurity specialist?
  • Social worker?
  • Business development manager?
  • Digital marketing analyst?

These are some of the positions that many Australian companies are trying to fill at the moment. This means you shouldn’t have a hard time finding a job in Australia to support your travel plans.

One major thing to consider (besides the pay), is that your work schedule is flexible enough to accommodate travel. If things go well, you may even find a lucrative career that turns your post-college adventure into a permanent residency.

Look for Remote Jobs That You Can Do From Australia

In the digital age, it’s easier than ever to work remotely from wherever you want. It doesn’t matter if you’re working from Alabama or Australia—you can find remote jobs that will provide you with plenty of freedom.

You can become a writer, an editor, or a graphic designer – all you need is a reliable computer and an internet connection. These positions allow you to work and travel in Australia as long as you can manage the time difference between the U.S. and the Land Down Under.

Take a Volunteer Position in Australia to Cover Travel Costs

If you don’t want to work a traditional job or even a remote job right out of college, there is one more option for you. You can accept a volunteer position and do some good for the world while you’re taking in all Australia has to offer.

Volunteer positions obviously won’t offer a salary but you can find ways to cut your travel costs when you accept the right position.

Volunteer positions with home stays, in particular, are great for recent college grads. It gives you an opportunity to immerse yourself in the Australian culture while saving money on travel.

Work and Travel in Australia with No Regrets

If you don’t choose to work and travel in Australia right after graduating from college when else are you going to do it?

You’re only young once, and you should take advantage of it by traveling as much as you can. Whether you get a regular 9-to-5 or take on a volunteer position in Australia, you’ll be glad you did. Be sure to document your journey so you can relive your experience time and again.

Read our blog for more excellent tips on traveling.

How to Grow Your Travel Blog with Travel Graphics

 

The first thing you’re expecting to see from a travel blog online is the pictures.

Pictures from everywhere, of interesting sights, tourist areas, picturesque landscapes, and golden sunsets.

Many travel bloggers just simply upload their favorite photos that go with the article and leave it at that. But they are missing a trick by not creating awesome travel graphics.

In this post, we are going to look at everything you need to know to grow your travel blog with travel graphics. We will show you exactly how to use them in your articles.

Why Do Travel Graphics Matter?

Of course, those picturesque landscapes are important to your blog. But so are travel graphics. You can even add graphics to those pictures.

Travel graphics can boost the number of images you have on your blog, eliminating the need for thousands of photos.

They also give you a different option for posts, like travel hacks, packing tips or first trip advice. Images play an important role in SEO and they can give your site a boost.

Travel graphics allow you to create new content. Think of cool infographics or checklists that your readers may love, but you haven’t had a chance to incorporate yet.

With travel graphics, you can create features images. You can also use these graphics to create a theme and develop brand consistency. This helps people recognize your posts, no matter where they appear on the internet.

3 Ways to Use Travel Graphics For Blogs

1. Overlay Graphics onto Photographs

Many bloggers face issues with stolen photographs and other stolen work. Protect your image and create brand awareness by adding a watermark or logo onto your photos so they can’t be stolen and redistributed without your company on them.

2. Infographics

Infographics are a great tool to provide quick and easy access to important information. On a travel blog, think of using infographics to create your perfect packing list. This will keep your blog content diverse and drive up your SEO.

Be sure to include your logo and branding in the infographic.

3. Text on Photos

For featured photos, and anything that you really want to stand out, place text onto the photo. Features posts are great to drive traffic to your other platforms.

Tips and Tricks for Travel Graphics

Graphics can become hard to read, or confusing if there is too much text or too many things going on in the one image. Keep it simple so your audience knows exactly what you’re trying to convey to them.

Use a design app to create easy templates to help with your brand consistency. This will give you more creditability and your readers will know what to expect from each post.

Get Designing Today!

Everyone loves to see those landscape shots of city skylines, and using travel graphics can elevate those images on your blog.

Always create a consistent look and feel to your blog posts.

For more information on traveling, take a look at the other articles on our blog.